A Letter To the Future

Sehzadebasi Mosque by Architecture Sinan

(Originally translated from Zula Blog)

In the 1990s, a civil engineer from the company that engaged in the restoration work of Sinan’s masterpiece -Şehzadebaşı Mosque- told on a televison about the events he lived during his works:

“There were bruising stones from place to place forming arches over the doors in the wall of garden surrounding the whole mosque. Restoration program also included the renewal of these arches. We had learned how one can construct the stone arches in the engineering faculty in theory but we didn’t had any practical experience since then.
So we had a meeting with technicians about how we should restore the arches. As a result, we decided to nail a wooden pattern under the bottom of each arches. Then we would slowly remove the stones of arch taking useful notes. And we would consult those notes when we were rebuilding the arch.

So we made the patterns.

Removal started from beginning of the arch lock. Surprisingly, we come across a glass bottle at the junction of the two stones. There was a white paper rolled in the bottle. We opened the bottle and saw some old ottoman scripts on the paper. Then we took the paper to a language expert who could read the old script.
Full translation of the script as below:
‘The life time of the stones that the arch made up is approximately 400 years. After 400 years, since those stones will be bruised you may want to renew them. Probably, you didn’t not know how you can rebuilt the arch since the building techniques will be changed inside out. Here i am writing this letter to you telling how you should rebuilt it….’

After reading the letter, we saw that architecture Sinan was even describing the region of Anatolia in where he took the stones from!
This letter was an extra ordinary example of how to achieve lasting results in buildings for centuries. The splendor of this letter, even if the people of the modern era will be forced to know the life of the stone, how the building technique may change after 400 years, to withstand the level of the knowledge comes from the use of paper and ink. Of course, this high information was not unknown for this Great Architecture. However, even more spectacular thing is that his responsibility that may cause finding solutions for after 400 years.”

Technical Plans of Sehzadebasi Mosque

Published in: on December 11, 2012 at 11:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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The İstanbul Painter: Haydar Hatemi

Miniature together with ebru and calligraphy were the most popular art branches around Anatolia in the time of  Ottoman Empire although it’s astonishingly rare nowadays. One of the Ottoman Art Exhibitions which held place at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University features paintings in miniature and on a grand scale, depicting scenes from Istanbul in the time of the Ottoman Empire, reflected those past times. “Haydar Hatemi: The Istanbul Painter” is on display through May 27.

As an Iranian-Azeri painter, the works of Haydar Hatemi are mostly based on blends of classical oriental styles such as miniature and tazhib with some modern elements. His early studies in art started at Tabriz’s Art Academy after finishing high school in Tabriz, Iran. Haydar Hatemi is a graduate of the prestigious Fine Arts Academy of Tehran University. He moved to Turkey in 1983. He has been working under the commission of the Qatari Royal family for the last decade. Here we present some of his recent works below.

Yıldırım Beyazıt

Yıldırım Beyazıt





Travelling to Hac

Travelling to Hac



Main Picture

Main Picture

Published in: on March 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Thirsty Man Near the River by Rumi

Silent River

Silent River

Once there was a huge wall near a silent river that flew rapidly through the valleys. Then a thirsty man appeared behind the wall. But the wall was so huge that he could have neither managed to climb the wall nor torn it down. Poor man was fluttering like a fish that was already out of the water. He should have reached the water to quench his thirst but that was impossible because of the wall.

Suddenly he broke apart a piece of stone from the wall and threw it to the river over the huge wall. The stone piece splashed the water and made a sound that can be heard from anywhere. The river was so silent that when he heard the water splash, it was more than an ordinary sound. It sounds like a song or like a poem to man. Then the man broke apart more pieces from the wall and started to throw them through the river to listen this lovely song.

Days later, while the man kept throwing stone pieces through the river, suddenly river started to talk and said Oh poor man, why do you throw stones to me although you know that you can not reach my water?

Then the man said to the river Oh generous river, i know that i can not reach you but this give me hope if i throw some stones to your water. Because with every stone i broke apart, i know that the wall is getting lower. And more importantly, your sound of water that spreading all over the nature gives live to human beings. Nature comes alive and celebrates the spring after hearing your sound of water. Now i am asking to you, why do not i throw more stones ?

Short Story by Rumi


Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273) was neither an Ottoman intellectual nor an Ottoman generation but his studies grew up and lived in the whole empire from the beginning to the end. The Empire wasn’t even established when he died in 1273 but some of his followers became well-known people in administration and government in Ottoman Empire.

The poems from his masterpiece: ‘Mesnevi’ are still considered as one of the most effective tools in personal growth and mental healing all around the world. Rumi tells stories that contain so deepest meanings in ‘Mesnevi’ poems that anyone who listens to these poems can get as much as they can understand while they are charming with its emotional musical by reed-flute. His ceremony is famous with whirling dervishes.

Here i’d like to publish some of his stories and the story above was originally translated from turkish by me.

Published in: on April 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Turkish National Anthem

Turkish National Anthem, composed by the greatest Ottoman poet, Mehmet Akif Ersoy.

(speaking to: turkish flag which symbolizes the bloods of martyrs)

Ottoman Flag

Ottoman Flag

Fear not! the crimson flag shall not fade and proudly ripples in the twilight,
Before ablazing within my nation, the last fiery hearth
For that is “the star” of my nation, and it will forever shine;
It is mine and solely belongs to my valiant nation that will shine.

Flag of Turkish Republic

Frown not, I beseech you, oh thou coy “crescent”,
But smile upon my heroic race! Why this anger, why this rage?
This blood of ours, we shed for you, shall not be blessed otherwise;
Freedom for my God-worshiping nation is its absolute right.

(Translation from turkish may differ due to aspect of translators)

Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Top 10 Priceless Ottoman Paintings by Western Artists

——————————– #10 ——————————–

Black Bashi Bazouk

Black Bashi Bazouk

Artist: Jean Leone Gerome

Title: Black Bashi-Bazouk (Başı Bozuk)

Drawing Year: 1869

Drawing Place:

Conservation Place: Private Collection

Reference: wikipedia

——————————– #9 ——————————–

La Grande Odalisque

La Grande Odalisque

Artist: Jean A. D. Ingres

Title: Le Grande Odalisque

Drawing Year: 1814

Drawing Place: Rome

Conservation Place: Louvre Museum, Paris

Reference: Wikipedia

——————————– #8 ——————————–

Roxelane Haseki Hürrem Sultan

Roxelane Haseki Hürrem Sultan

Artist: An unknown Venetian Artist

Title: Roxelana, Haseki Hürrem Sultan, Rossa Solymanni uxor,

Drawing Year: 17th century

Drawing Place: Istanbul

Conservation Place: Topkapı Palace Museum, Istanbul

Reference: Wikipedia

——————————– #7 ——————————–

The Battle of Varna

The Battle of Varna

Artist: Stanislaw Chlebowski

Title: Battle of Varna

Drawing Year: 1879

Drawing Place: Istanbul

Conservation Place: Budapest Museum

Reference: Wikipedia

——————————– #6 ——————————–

Sultan Selim III

Sultan Selim III

Artist: Constantine Kapıdağlı

Title: Sultan Selim III

Drawing Year: 1803

Drawing Place: Istanbul

Conservation Place: Topkapı Palace Museum, Istanbul

Reference: Wikipedia

——————————– #5 ——————————–

French ambassador's presentation of his credentials to Sultan Ahmed III

French ambassador's presentation of his credentials to Sultan Ahmed III

Artist: Jean Baptiste Van Mour

Title: Reception of the French ambassador le Vicompte D’Andrezel by Sultan Ahmed III

Drawing Year: 1724

Drawing Place: Istanbul

Conservation Place: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux

Reference: Wikipedia

——————————– #4 ——————————–

Suleiman The Magnificient

Suleiman The Magnificent

Artist: Titian

Title: Emperor Suleiman The Magnificent

Drawing Year: sometime between 1530 and 1550

Drawing Place: Venice

Conservation Place: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Reference: http://bilddatenbank.khm.at/viewArtefact?id=2427

——————————– #3 ——————————–

The Attack of Zrinyi

The Attack of Zrinyi

Artist: Johann Peter Krafft

Title: The Attack of Zrinyi

Drawing Year: 1825

Drawing Place: Budapest, Hungary

Conservation Place: Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

Reference: http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/k/krafft/index.html

——————————– #2 ——————————–

Sultan Mehmed at the Gates of Constantinople

Sultan Mehmed at the Gates of Constantinople

Artist: Fausto Zonaro

Title: Entering to Constantinople

Drawing Year: 1907

Drawing Place: Istanbul

Conservation Place: Dolmabahce Palace Museum, Istanbul

Reference: http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fausto_Zonaro

——————————– #1 ——————————–

Portrait of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror

Portrait of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror

Artist: Gentile Bellini

Title: Portrait of The Sultan Mehmed II

Drawing Year: 1480

Drawing Place: Istanbul

Conservation Place: The National Gallery (Layard Bequest), London

Reference: http://www.qantara-med.org/qantara4/public/show_document.php?do_id=1151&lang=en

Published in: on November 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm  Comments (5)  
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Battle of Ankara

The Battle of Ankara fought in 1402, took place northeast of Ankara at the field of Çubuk between the forces of the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I – the Thunderbolt- and the Turko-Mongol forces of Timur -the Lame- (Tamerlane), ruler of the Timurid Empire.

Timur had conquered Georgia and Azerbaijan in 1390, expanding his empire to the borders of the Ottoman Empire. The two powers soon came into direct conflict. On his march to invade Syria in 1398 Timur was met by a deputation of exiled Anatolian emirs, along with ambassadors from Constantinople, Genoa, Venice, and even Charles VI of France, who urged him to attack the Ottoman Empire.[7] Beyazid demanded tribute from one of the Turkish emirates who had pledged loyalty to Timur and threatened to invade. Timur interpreted this action as an insult to himself and in 1400 sacked the Ottoman city of Sebaste (modern Sivas). Beyazid was stung into furious action and when Timur invaded Anatolia from the east, Beyazid summoned his forces and confronted Timur’s forces near Ankara. The conflict, overall, was the culmination of years of insulting letters exchanged between Timur and Beyazid.

In those letters, it said that Beyazid insulted Timur and his soldiers as being tatar, unbelievers and evil. In replies Timur said to Beyazid that they were as muslim as ottomans used to be, but the whole ottoman state had been captured by european non-believers and spies.

When those letters made an annoying impact on Beyazid, he could not have known himself and obviously underestimated the forces of Timur.

It is also said that in the battlefield Beyazid refrain to first attack on Timur’s tired army because he wanted to figth at equal powers. So that the first attack came from Timur and despite the fact that they both has at equal powers, Timur’s forces were almost entirely mounted with a few Indian war elephants.

It’s remarkable that in that battle, some of Turkish soldiers had changed sides and supported Timur’s forces. It’s a strong evident of that Anatolian people has not a sympathy for Ottoman Empire, Beyazid The First, in that battle.

in July 1402 at the end of the Ankara Battle, Ottomans defeated by Timurlane and collapsed for the first time in its history.

Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 10:07 am  Comments (5)  
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An Empire Established After a Dream

Turkish Akinci horsemen

It is said that the first Ottomans are actually a late coming Turkish clan which had moved from middle-Asia to Anatolia in the leadership of Ertugrul Gazi.

As tradition has it, on crossing the Central Anatolian Plateau, Ertughrul one day spied a cloud of dust on the horizon. It had risen from the battle near Eskisehir – formerly Dorylaion – which a Seljuk detachment was fighting against Mongol invaders. Ertughrul took an historic decision, although probably
unaware of what its consequences would be. He resolved to intervene in the battle,
thus enabling the apparently losing side to win. That day the Ottomans saved the
Empire of Rum.

To show his gratitude, the Seljuk Sultan Kaihusrev II (Kaikosrau) gave Ertughrul a strip of land encircling the battlefield. The land extended from Eskisehir along the Sakarya (in antiquity: Sangarios) Valley. It corresponded roughly with the Roman province of Bithynia which the Seljuks had taken from the
Byzantines about a century previously.

One night while Osman Gazi (the son of Ertugrul Gazi) was staying over at Seyh Edebali’s dergah whom was his mentor, he had seen a dream. A light coming from Seyh Edebali’s chest was going into his own chest and a tree was raising from his there.The tree’s branches was covering the whole world, people was walking under them, rivers were running. In the morning he asked the seyh about this dream. And the seyh told him that he’s going to be a Bey (Lord) and there will be lots of sultans from his sons, that they will gather a lot of countries between the same borders.

That was the dream which was settled in Osman Gazi’s mind for years. In a short time later he became a Bey after retiring of his father (Ertugrul Gazi) and founded his own feudal state in 1299 in a small town called “Sogut”.

Osman I founded a small empire there, which he called “Memalik Osmanya”, or “The Principality of Osman”. He made Bursa its capital in 1305, captured Gemlik in 1326 and thus laid the foundations of what was to become the Ottoman Empire.

Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 8:20 am  Comments (4)